From the author of the Costa Book of the Year - Pure, a hypnotic, luminous exploration of buried grief and the mysterious workings of the heart.
On the surface Maud and Tim seem ill matched. Maud is a scientist, an only child from a modest background; Tim is a musician from a large, rich family. She is emotionally cool, he wears his heart on his sleeve. Yet they make a home together, have a child, and restore an old yacht. One day they will sail it, all three.
Then a dreadful tragedy occurs. The strange thing is, Maud appears unscathed by it. Tim's family are horrified - what is wrong with her? She tells no one when she begins to feel a ghostly presence or of her plan to sail singlehanded across the Atlantic. Maybe she can escape what is pursuing her....
Ranging from the West Country to an isolated orphanage in Brazil, this is the mesmerising story of an enigmatic woman and her emotional journey - as deeply affecting as her physical journey becomes nail-bitingly dramatic.
©2015 Andrew Miller (P)2015 Hodder & Stoughton
80% of the book was about sailing which I found really boring
no, not after this experience
the narrator was fine ... just didn't have a good story to read
I don't recommend this at all. The worst audio book I've had from Audible unfortunately
I was disappointed with the way this story developed. I am ready to accept that it would have been exactly right for some listeners. For me, it felt that the story disappeared into a morass of detail about yachting, ending a vaguely menacing landfall in a dystpoia
fantastic. I might have found it a bit slow paced to read, but perfect as an audio book. I loved the narration.
Writer and audiobook reviewer.
What an intriguing, puzzling, mesmerising novel! It's totally absorbing, ultimately satisfying and unsatisfying, extraordinary and ordinary, firmly rooted in the real world and floating in some mystical zone... At every turn you can't stop yourself being pulled in and pulled along.
It all starts very simply - and the whole has an engaging simplicity with its present tense and prose like delicate brush strokes. Tim falls for Maud at the university sailing club, attracted by her enigmatic bluntness, intrigued by her emotional blankness. Maud visits Tim's family: she's from a ordinary family in Swindon, he's from an awful, wealthy family with so much land it takes the Hunt 20 minutes to cross, and their Christmas turkey is as big as an alsatian. Maud moves in with Tim and continues with her job as a scientist investigating pain relief; Tim pursues his unfocused 'career' in music; they have a baby, Zoe; Maud continues to work apparently unmoved by her child; Tim looks after Zoe... So far, so everyday. WHY, we ask ourselves, is Maud so detached? We want to know and understand.
But then the novel cracks and splinters and we enter another realm. A terrible tragedy occurs which Miller conveys not directly, but in shocking segments. Maud takes the boat which she and Tim had planned to sail together and sails across the Atlantic alone. Miller certainly knows his sailing, as the boat is all but destroyed by a tremendous storm. I won't give away the rest of the novel which changes gear again into something powerful but puzzling with a dash of Evelyn Waugh's A Handful of Dust with Shakespeare's The Tempest. And the very end? All those things we wanted to know about Maud's inner life, we still don't know. In fact we're even more puzzled than before.
This is a tantalising novel well served by the narrator who skilfully conveys that other-worldly and yet ordinary Maud and her mysterious core. Definitely well worth listening to.
Although I enjoyed listening to this story, I think it is a weaker Andrew Miller novel. It opens with the beginning of the relationship between Tim and Maud and maps its journey, to its inevitable crash. The first half sits uncomfortably on the second half of the book, as if he had two ideas and didn't know how to reconcile them. I Dont think it was a good idea to relate the story from both the male and the female perspective in the first half and then drop one of them completely in the second. Also the circumstances of of the affairs was very unclear, very muddy, and there is enough ambiguity in one character alone without the need to add to it.The second half is Mauds journey, her rite of passage, to where? one can only speculate, it doesn't matter, but she survives it and inevitable emerges stronger. Baptized.I enjoyed the character of Maud, the outsider, the loner, but always chuckle when male authors turn their female protagonist into what appears to be just the female side of themselves! In all respects other than her periods and ability to give birth, she could have been a lad.Miller has written a few brilliant and unforgettable books, sadly this is not one of them.
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